ARC success for DARE Chief Investigators

In the latest round of Australian Research Council (ARC) research funding announcements, three DARE CI-led Discovery projects were awarded funding, including:

1. A paradigm shift in understanding cognitive flexibility.

The project aims to model cognitive flexibility as a dynamic process within people that varies across situations and occasions using advanced data analytics. Significance: The project intends to generate new knowledge in intelligence theory using recent advances that overcome known theory-testing limitations that have historically been ignored. Expected Outcomes: An authentic account of cognitive flexibility and a new paradigm for developing and testing models of dynamic change within people. Benefits: Dynamic models are needed to understand authentic problem-solving and cognitive function. The advances benefit research and applied areas where dynamic processes are important, including education, work, and cognitive aging.

Chief Investigators: A/Prof Damian Birney, Prof Sally Cripps, Prof Dr Jens Beckmann, Associate Professor Rui Nouchi

2. Ecological forecasts of species response to fire, drought and heatwaves.

This project will advance ecosystem forecasting by accounting for how legacy effects from extreme environmental events – prolonged droughts, floods, heatwaves and fires – persist into future years in vulnerable dryland ecosystems. As highly stressed environments are expected to leave increasingly large impacts on flora and fauna and exacerbate desertification, answers are urgently needed to understand and mitigate these impacts. This project will foster new appreciation of ecosystem features that build resilience to change, or that lead to collapse. Benefits include better forecasting tools to manage ecosystems at risk, improved security of biodiversity and food production in Australian rangelands, and training of early career researchers.

Chief Investigators: Prof Glenda Wardle, Dr Aaron Greenville, Prof Chris Dickman, Dr Ayesha Tulloch, Dr Thomas Newsome, A/Prof Michael Dietze

3. Bayesian inference for psychological theories with intractable likelihood.

This project pursues breakthroughs which allow important questions of basic and applied science to be addressed using mathematical theories from cognitive psychology. Advances are made through an interdisciplinary effort, combining recent developments in econometric and statistical methods and cognitive science. The outcomes will advance knowledge and open up new avenues for applied research in important aspects of psychology. This research will result in new methods available to the wider scientific community which open up new horizons for understanding basic cognition, and human behavior in many domains.

Chief Investigators: Professor Robert Kohn, Prof Scott Brown, Dr Minh-Ngoc Tran, Dr David Gunawan


Further details of successful grant recipients and projects are available on the ARC website.